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social media detox

How to take a social media break and live in the moment

Generation X and Millennials have grown up with advanced technology and social media at our fingertips, making it difficult to have a social media detox.

However, we forget to realise how important it is to take some time off the virtual world to actually be present and enjoy the now.

Time passes us by when we focus so much on how many likes our new selfie gets, or making sure we let our followers know what we ate for lunch. As much as we want to document and share our (student) life, we’ll never be able to relive those three years. So we need to live and enjoy the moments with our flatmates, our course friends, the seminars, the adventures…

1. Delete the apps

A recent report from Nielsen said that Generation X spend about 32 hours a week consuming all media—that’s four and a half hours a day. When deleting the apps, you will not be tempted to aimlessly scroll when you could be getting lost in a good book, or learning another language.

2. Embrace nature
View this post on Instagram

I’ll be napping in a park if you need me ??

A post shared by Jo (@jo_franco) on

You’re lucky if you live in a rural area. A lot of us students live in metropolitan areas. One way you can use technology to aid your media detox is to research parks and nature reserves in your city. Living in a fast-paced city can get hectic; you can barely have time to yourself. Be present, embrace the quiet and reflect on life.

3. Look for new food and drink places

Finding new places to eat in your city can be very exciting. This could be anything from brunch, bubble tea spots or vegan cafés to name a few. Bring your work, or your hobbies, with you, especially if you're more motivated to work when you're around people. A lot of people listen to music or scroll through social media to deflect attention from the fact that they’re eating by themselves. Instead, enjoy your food and enjoy your own company.

4. Go to a book shop

Reading blog posts and Twitter threads can be entertaining and educational, but nothing beats a book shop. Although it encourages important conversations, social media constantly bombards us with so many words, opinions and even arguments. You can take a step back from this by reading a book of your interest, whether it be university related or for pure entertainment.

5. Start journaling

Although social media allows us to post (and release information), we are constantly taking in information. When detoxing, it is important to release your thoughts, so you and see them and reflect on them. Writing with pen and paper as opposed to typing on a device is advisable; it requires less thinking and tends to be more honest.

6. Spend time with your friends

Student life is hectic as it is, with or without social media. Interacting with virtual followers and supporters can be gratifying, but it’s just as gratifying to invest in your real-life relationships. Spend time with the people that energise you and make you happy. Share experiences, debate with them, speak about topics you’re passionate about—this will help to make you feel more present and will help you grow closer to your friends.

Yes, social media does have its benefits, but too much of something isn’t good; everything should be consumed in moderation. Don’t let the virtual world take over your real one, see if you can have a social media detox.